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The Armorer: My Experiences as a Martin B-26 Marauder Ground Crewman in World War II

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The Armorer: My Experiences as a Martin B-26 Marauder Ground Crewman in World War II
Mike Bonchonsky entered the Army Air Corps in 1942, training as an armorer. After stateside training, he was assigned to the 17th Bomb Group, serving with them in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany during World War II. As an armorer in the unit, Mike's responsibilities included maintaining and repairing all manner of weapons, from small arms to aircraft machine guns and cannons, as well as their associated equipment, and was also tasked with loading bombs and other ordnance carried by the aircraft. Mike also provides details of life on an airbase, working and living in harsh conditions, with the threat of enemy attack always present. Also included is an appendix with a history of the 17th Bomb Group. In addition to photos from Mike's personal album, there are dozens of photos of the Martin B-26 Marauder and their crews, ground crews at work, aircraft on missions, bomb runs, and strike and post-strike photos.

  • Chapter 1: The Convoy: Santa Maria Trip to Africa
  • Chapter 2: North Africa: Tour de la Boxcar
  • Chapter 3: Living Conditions: Arabs and Us
  • Chapter 4: This is War
  • Chapter 5: Who Knows?
  • Chapter 6: Death
  • Chapter 7: Spring in North Africa
  • Chapter 8: ‘886’: The Jinx Ship
  • Chapter 9: This and That (About Me, Myself, and I)
  • Chapter 10: Action
  • Chapter 11: Fall of Tunis and Bizerte
  • Chapter 12: Sedrata
  • Chapter 13: Dawn
  • Chapter 14: Out On Pass in North Africa
  • Chapter 15: Tunis
  • Chapter 16: Hornets’ Nest
  • Chapter 17: Raid on Naples and Rome
  • Chapter 18: Rumors
  • Chapter 19: Same Old Thing
  • Chapter 20: “Coughin’ Coffin” Goes Home (But We Don’t)
  • Chapter 21: Sweetheart
  • Chapter 22: Fires
  • Chapter 23: Over Enemy Territory
  • Chapter 24: Capri
  • Chapter 25: Trip to Corsica
  • Chapter 26: Coming Home
  • Chapter 27: Other Stories From My Recollections

I was also in the 34th Bomb Squadron, 17th Bomb Group. I flew overseas. Was a tail gunner and a crew chief and later a flight chief. His book is great but most of us are gone. Some of the pictures are some of mine. My airplane was "GIMSZY INC." It lasted 30 days in combat. My children have heard these stories many times. They will enjoy reading the book.

Keep in mind, this is a series of letters written to his fiancé during WWll. A soldier has to express his love and still remain battle strong. This is balancing emotions without compromising either position, for the sake of survival.
—Charles B.

I have collected several books that cover the B-26 Marauder's History in World War 2. This one is a new edition and relates to the other books I have purchased.
—Norm Melton

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